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Loretta M. "Tess" Nalencz Obituary
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January 19, 2019

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Preview Entry
January 19, 2019

Please don't submit copyrighted work; original poems, songs or prayers welcomed. reviews all Guest Book entries to ensure appropriate content. Our staff does not correct grammar or spelling.

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 Memories & Condolences
This Guest Book will remain online permanently courtesy of Joseph E Sass Funeral Home.
February 4, 2018
Eulogy by SMA grad Dona Palmer:

This is Rosa Spellman. I'm her mother, Dona Palmer. Loretta and I entered the postulancy of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi together in 1963. After we left the convent our paths pretty much parted until the 50th anniversary jubilee of our classmates a few years ago.

Interesting how the qualities I loved in her in the 60's, were more vibrant decades later. In compiling shared memoires from that group of women, a story from Sr. Ladonna is wonderful. Sr. Ladonna and Loretta had their curtain enclosed cells positioned so the heads of their beds were butted up against each other. On a certain day Loretta had worked in the kitchen. That night Loretta was talking aloud in her sleep explaining how to fry eggs on organ pedals. Not wanting to awaken the 20 people in the room, Ladonna had a huge challenge controlling the outburst of laughter attempting to erupt.

The Polish painted egg is a good metaphor for how Loretta colorfully nourished us. I thought it significant that the jacket she is wearing looks like a painted egg.

*Loretta helped up grow out of cultural narrowness and delighted in sharing Polish traditions. Loretta's family provided oplatki, wafers which we broke and shared on Christmas Eve, to dramatize that the love we share is the greatest gift of all. Loretta tried to get us to use Polish words by telling us to brush our zembys or polish our chervikees. Or was it the other way around? Polish speakers please forgive my pronunciation. I'm sure I'm not alone in having difficulty remembering the words, and I'm also sure I'm not alone in remembering the smiles Loretta still elicits as we brush our teeth or polish our shoes.

*Of course, our spirits have all been nourished by Loretta's organ playing. I once asked her about her favorite songs and she answered One that I remember most is Adoro Te. It was to be played at benediction one Sunday afternoon; at two minutes before the service began there was still no Sr. Geraldanne, the motherhouse organist. We were all sure she must have had a heart attack or something; as she was never late. Only later did we find out the battery of her watch had died. But on with the story. At any rate in an attempt to have the show go on, I slid onto the organ bench. I saw that the piece of music before me was in the key of E with four sharps. I knew my playing it with that many black notes would not be pretty; so, I transposed into the key of D minor which only has one black key. When Sister Geraldanne heard the music she headed for the choir loft slid on the bench next to me and as I finished she whispered Why is benediction starting now? And why are you in the key of D? We all have experienced Loretta's ability to respond, and adapt. We've all had our souls lifted immeasurably by her beautiful musical gift.

*Loretta nourished through advocating for clear vision. Six years older than Anita, Loretta watched out in a special way for her sister who had difficulty with eyesight from birth. Loretta attributed this focus since childhood as the motivation she felt during her last months. She had an urgency for truth. She advocated truth replace lies in our country. She saw truth as the crucial bone marrow to feed the backbone of our democracy. Not being able to be with Anita in her last months was a huge suffering, but Loretta found purpose by staying abreast of the news and sharing her opinions.

*Loretta nourished us through the simple way she walked with God. I rode in the ambulance with her when she went to the hospital for a doctor's appointment. After that she asked Did you hear the name of the person riding with me in the back? I hadn't so she told me, Jeremiah. Not seeing the significance, I looked at her quizzically, and she said, Remember I was Sr. Jeremy. She said I see signs like that a lot. I don't tell many people about them but I find a lot of meaning.

*Of course, Loretta's humor was one of her most enduring and memorable nourishing qualities. Coming back from the doctor visit in the ambulance the driver and I could hear her in the back. I heard Loretta say from the gurney I think I should write my autobiography. I turned and asked through the connecting open space, What will you have for a title? She responded My memoir; snap shots from the rear window of an ambulance. Every encounter with Loretta was an adventure.

*Lastly, I once noticed Loretta's frowning face as she was being moved from wheelchair to gurney. I commented. You ever feel like a pawn on a chessboard in a place like this? She responded, I think feel invisible' is more of an apt description. At a different time, when the ambulance workers were about to leave they asked her how they had done. She said, A+ guys. Thanks. No one walking away from Loretta felt invisible. She lived a tennis game. Her racket was serving love. She nailed delivering kindness perfectly, time after time.

Well dear ones, in conclusion, my name is Dona with one n, pronounced dona in latin. Every time Loretta and I would talk, whether on the phone or in person, she would begin and end our conversation by singing or calling me Dona Nobis Pacem. Grant us Peace. Yes, thank you Loretta. your various egg treats, of which these are just a few examples, brought us such sweet peace. And now again, for us all we sing: Dona Nobis Pacem.
February 4, 2018
So sorry to hear of your loss, may she rest in peace.
February 2, 2018
She was a graduate of St. Mary's Academy and definitely a talented musician. She will be missed.
Sister Lourdette Van Driel, OSF